We are coming up on the time of year where everything is happening all at once. The holidays are right around the corner. With that comes shopping, cooking, parties, family events, travel, decorating...well, you know the rest. Add these to the regular routine of life, and there is only one result: FATIGUE! As if people aren't tired enough, once you add the holiday schedule, there is not enough coffee to help us maintain! So, let me help you deal with what you know is coming.
In I Kings 19, Elijah had just experienced a wonderful victory, as God proved Himself on top of Mt. Carmel. The prophets of Baal and Ashereth were slaughtered, and Elijah was used by God in this mighty victory. However, in chapter 19, we find Elijah running scared, literally. He receives word that Queen Jezebel wants him dead. So, he did what any other person would have done. He ran! He was already exhausted having watched the prophets of Baal cry out to their god all day long. He then prayed that God would send down fire, and He did. He has led the charge to kill the prophets of Baal. He has traveled up and down Mt. Carmel a couple of times. Now, after hearing of Jezebel's desire, he runs down the mountain, through the Jezreel Valley, and then another days journey into the wilderness. No wonder he is tired. Just like us, running everywhere, trying to do everything. Trying to keep up with an impossible schedule, which is an impossible task. When fatigue hits, and some of you find yourselves in constant fatigue, what do you do?
First, Get Well! God finds Elijah resting under a broom tree. Elijah's fatigue led him to despair. He is praying to die, saying, "it is enough, Now Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers"
(vs. 4). Did God need to do business with Elijah? Yes! But, God didn't reprimand him, nor did he rebuke him, at least not yet. First, God provided nutrition and rest (vs. 5-6). You are no good for God's service if you are not rested for the battles. Second, Get away! After caring for Elijah, God's angel instructs Elijah to go 40 days and nights away from stress of the moment. Listen, we all need time to get away. I heard Charles Swindoll once say, "If you don't take time to come apart, you will come apart!" There is truth to that! It may be a 7 day vacation. It may be a day trip to the mountains. Maybe a weekend to visit friends or family. It was the habit of Jesus (Mark 6:31). Don't tell me your job is more consuming than His. If He can take time away, so can you! Third, Get some Help! Once God got Elijah alone, He reminded him, that he was not alone in the battle (vs. 19-21). Elisha became Elijah's servant. Do you have someone to speak into your life? Someone who can assist you, someone to be accountable to? Do you have someone who can tell you to slow down? Find someone!
In times of fatigue and weariness, usually there is a very important ingredient left out of our lives: It's our personal relationship with God. We are burning the candle at both ends, and God is left out! Truth is, in fatigue, what we need more than anything is a long, well-needed look at the Savior! This holiday season, don't allow yourself to get so run down that you don't take time to run to the Father!